Mizoram Govt To Set Up Task Force To Combat Smuggling

The Mizoram government will set up a task force, involving officials of the state home department and representatives of NGOs, to curb the smuggling of drugs, areca nuts and other items.

BSF foils smuggling bid (File photo-Representational image)

During a  meeting chaired by Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Thursday, it was agreed to take stern measures against the illegal trade activities and to make collective efforts to seize all smuggled areca nuts and drugs, it said.  

Several government officials and leaders of the Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA) were present at the meeting, the statement, issued by the information and public relations department, said. 

The state police will be assisted by volunteers of the association and other NGOs in the war against smuggling.

During the meeting, which was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Tawnluia, it was also decided to "form a task force, involving officials of the home department and representatives of NGOs, to ensure seamless efforts towards curbing the menace".

It was decided to "set up duty posts and check gates as many as possible across the state and along the international borders". 

The officials and members of the association agreed to coordinate with Assam Rifles and Border Security Force (BSF) to ensure collective efforts in the fight against smuggling. 

East Mizoram's Champhai district has recently become a conduit of smuggling for various items, including dried areca nuts, drugs, and exotic animals from Myanmar. 

Recently, six vehicles allegedly carrying smuggled Burmese areca nuts were torched by a mob in western Mizoram's Mamit district. 

Local growers have alleged that their markets have been affected by smuggled Burmese areca nuts. 

Mizoram shares a 510-km-long border with Myanmar and 318 km with Bangladesh.

While the Mizoram-Myanmar border is guarded by the Assam Rifles, the BSF guards the Mizoram-Bangladesh boundary.